The penalties for sex crimes are unique in that offenders frequently must register and report changes in their personal information to law enforcement. This includes their address and employment information to email addresses and phone numbers.
Registered sex offenders are then listed in a public database, and in some instances, neighbors are notified when a sex offender moves into the area.
Sex offender registration in Ohio can be incredibly damaging both personally and professionally. And it is easy to see why some might try to avoid registration. However, the penalties for failing to comply with sex offender registration in Ohio can be just as severe as the original sex offense.
If you have questions about registering as a sex offender, contact the knowledgeable Columbus sex crimes attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consult. Let us explain your options, rights, and the best way to help you.
Ohio Sex Offender Registration
Sex offender registration has different frequency and duration requirements depending on the severity of the sex crime conviction. Specifically, registration requirements are divided into three tiers, with Tier I being the least serious and Tier III being the most severe.
Tier I Sex Offender Registration
Offenses include voyeurism, pandering obscenity, and sexual imposition. Sex offenders convicted of Tier I crimes must register and verify their information annually for 15 years following their initial registration as a sex offender.
Tier II Sex Offender Registration
Offenses include compelling prostitution, kidnapping with sexual motivation, and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. Tier II sex crimes must register and verify their information every 180 days for 25 years following their initial registration as a sex offender.
Tier III Sex Offender Registration
Offenses include crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and felonious assault with sexual motivation. Sex offenders convicted of Tier III crimes must register and verify their information every 90 days for the rest of their life.
Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration
In addition to sex offenders providing periodic verification based on their tiers, all tiers must promptly register with sheriffs in other counties if they enter that county for certain reasons or periods of time. For instance, a sex offender must register immediately if they enter a new county to attend an institution of higher learning.
Ohio does not differentiate between registration requirements, so any instance where a sex offender fails to register when they were required to do so can trigger severe penalties.
Ohio treats the failure to comply with sex offender registration as a serious offense and ties the penalties to the original sexual offense that lead to the registration requirement. Therefore, failing to register is treated at the same level as the highest level of sex crime in the original conviction.
Failing to Register Can Equal Prison
Because failing to register is tied to the original crime, if a sex offender must register based on a first-degree felony conviction, failing to do so would then also be a first-degree felony. If convicted, the offender faces a prison term for a first-degree felony in Ohio, which is between three and 11 years.
In addition, Ohio law can heighten the offense to a fourth-degree felony if the underlying sexual offense that required registration was a fifth-degree felony or misdemeanor. As a result, fourth-degree felonies are punishable by six to 18 months in prison.
Failure to comply with sex offender registration is also considered a probation violation and could lead to the reimposition of prison time on the original sex offense. This means someone could potentially serve the remaining time left on sex crime sentence in addition to a newly imposed sentence for failure to register.
Why Work with an Experienced Columbus Sex Crime Lawyer
Ohio sex crime laws impose incredible burdens on those convicted, even after the criminal penalties have been satisfied. Sex offender registration is highly restrictive, complicated, and it is easy to make a mistake. This can result in people facing even more time in prison for failing to comply with Ohio’s sex offender registration law.
If you are faced with sex offender registration it is important to contact a knowledgeable Columbus criminal defense attorney who can help make sure you stay in compliance. If you’ve been charged with a sex offense, the surest way to avoid the requirements of sex offender registration is to mount a strong defense and avoid conviction from the start
Luftman, Heck & Associates has experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers who will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation.